Both the Tripoli-based and Sirte-based rival governments are now competing for control of the country.
Gen. Abdelrazzak al-Nadhouri, the second-in-command of Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s putschist forces, traveled to Tripoli on Monday and Tuesday to meet with Gen. Mohammad al-Haddad.
“It is necessary to name a single chief of staff for the military institution and begin the reunification of the army,” the pair said in a joint statement following their encounter.
The 5+5 military commission, which consists of military representatives from each of the opposing camps, is said to have been able to advance its work as a result of the meeting, including on the challenging subject of foreign fighters who were supposed to leave after an October 2020 cease-fire.
Additionally, the parties decided on Tuesday to conduct border patrols, notably in the south, in an effort to stop the influx of migrants and dismantle trafficking and smuggling organisations.
“I am heartened by the outcome of the meeting between General Haddad and General Nadhouri,” the U.N.’s top Libya envoy Stephanie Williams said on Twitter, adding: “Their spirit of cooperation and compromise is a model for the political class.”
“The United Nations commends this important dialogue and continues to support the security track talks, notably through the Joint Military Commission (JMC 5+5), including on the full implementation of the October 2020 cease-fire agreement,” the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement.
Following the overthrow of longstanding tyrant Moammar Gadhafi in a 2011 NATO-backed rebellion, Libya entered a more than ten-year period of turmoil and recurrent armed conflict.
After the final round of major combat in 2019–2020, presidential and legislative elections were initially planned for December 2021 to conclude a U.N.-sponsored peace process.
But because of disagreements regarding contentious candidates and the regulations governing voting, the elections were postponed indefinitely.
Haftar, who made an aborted attempt to seize the capital in 2019–2020, currently holds de facto control of the country’s east and a portion of the south.
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